The South West Queensland Pipeline (SWQP) is now a 935 km pipeline receiving coal seam gas at Wallumbilla in Queensland, and transporting that gas to Ballera to service the Mt Isa market, before continuing into South Australia to Moomba.
At Moomba, the SWQP connects with Epic’s Moomba to Adelaide Pipeline and APA Group’s Moomba to Sydney Pipeline. The SWQP also delivers gas into the Roma to Brisbane Pipeline and the Queensland Gas Pipeline, creating a gas hub at Wallumbilla.
Epic announced in June that it had signed a conditional long-term Gas Transmission Agreement with Origin Energy to underpin the proposed Stage 3 expansion of the SWQP.
Stage 3 of the project involves the construction of a new 935 km, 450 mm diameter pipeline adjacent to the existing SWQP. This looping would increase the SWQP daily capacity from 168 TJ/d to approximately 380 TJ/d.Article continues below…
The project is subject to securing funding for the development and, should Epic Energy reach financial close on the Stage 3 expansion, it is anticipated that the Stage 2 expansion will be deferred and the capacity that was to be provided by the Stage 2 expansion will be incorporated into the larger looping expansion of the SWQP.
Epic Energy Managing Director Steve Banning said “We are exploring various options to secure the funding for this significant project by the fourth quarter of this year.”
A considerable amount of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) has already been completed and Epic is ready to commence a detailed design as soon as funding has been secured.
Given that the new pipeline will be constructed mainly within the existing SWQP easements, the impact on landowners and the environment along the route is expected to be minimal.
Epic has already commenced the process of contacting and liaising with landowners regarding the construction activities and this will continue right through the project.
In addition to the landowner liaison activities, Epic is in discussion with the cultural heritage claimant groups along the pipeline to obtain cultural heritage clearance for the project. The input of the traditional owners of the land will be used to finalise the pipeline route so that it avoids culturally significant areas.
The new 450 mm diameter pipeline will be connected to the existing SWQP approximately every 200 km, at existing scraper station compounds and, once operational, the two pipelines will be operated as one.
Some minor modifications at the existing mid-line compressor station at Cooladie, additional compression equipment at Wallumbilla, and an expansion of the Moomba meter station will be required to accommodate the higher flows.
In order to obtain construction cost certainty for the project, Epic has entered into contracts with steel suppliers and a construction contractor for the looping project. Nacap was engaged under an early contractor involvement process to assist with the development and optimisation of the project, and has since been awarded the contract to construct the new pipeline.
Given the length of the pipeline, the logistics of transporting pipe to the right of way has been a major consideration in the steel procurement process. Also, the quantity of pipe required meant that not all of the pipe could be supplied by Australian mills within the required timeframe, hence there will be a mix of Australian and overseas pipe.
The pipe will be internally lined to improve hydraulic efficiency and will be externally coated with dual layer fusion bonded epoxy.
At this stage, construction is expected to commence in June 2010 and continue through to the end of 2011.